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CHAPTER 12-5

POLITICAL PARTIES AND PARTY AFFAIRS

12-5-1      Organization and dissolution of political party.
12-5-1.1      Party constitution or bylaws required--Filing with secretary of state.
12-5-1.2      Repealed.
12-5-1.3      Notice to county auditors of party rules affecting elections .
12-5-1.4      Nominating petitions of new party primary candidates.
12-5-1.5      Organization and dissolution of political party without candidate for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Governor, or Legislature.
12-5-1.6      Reward prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor.
12-5-2      Precinct officials elected at primary.
12-5-3 to 12-5-3.5.      Repealed.
12-5-3.6      Selection of method of allocating national convention vote.
12-5-3.7      Repealed.
12-5-3.8      Certification of candidates or slates for primary--Placement on ballot--Selection process without primary.
12-5-3.9      Certification of candidates or slates by state chairperson--Mandamus to compel certification--Hearing.
12-5-3.10      Repealed.
12-5-3.11      Primary election of national convention delegates and alternates--Grouping of names on nominating petition--Statement of preference.
12-5-3.12      Preference of first nominating petition filed--One slate per candidate--Petitions rejected for noncompliance--Verified notice of disapproval filed by designated candidate removes slate from ballot.
12-5-3.13      Election of all delegates by slate receiving most votes.
12-5-3.14      Notice by candidates or supporters of intention to enter presidential primary.
12-5-3.15      State board to adopt rules.
12-5-3.16      Certification of names of national convention nominees for President and vice-president--Alternate certification.
12-5-3.17      Repealed.
12-5-4      Statement filed by candidates for precinct committee--Time of filing--Contents.
12-5-4.1      Unopposed candidate for precinct committee automatically elected.
12-5-5 to 12-5-7.      Repealed.
12-5-8      Furnishing to precincts of ballots for precinct committee--Form prescribed by state board.
12-5-9      Votes for precinct committee restricted to nominees.
12-5-10      Repealed.
12-5-11, 12-5-12.      Repealed.
12-5-13      Precinct committeemen elected by plurality at primary--Term of office.
12-5-14      County central committee--Composition--Organization--Certification of party officials.
12-5-15      Vacancies filled by county central committee--Exception.
12-5-16      Repealed.
12-5-17      Biennial state conventions--Time and place--Notice to secretary of state.
12-5-18      Voting by delegates to state convention.
12-5-19      Repealed.
12-5-20      Repealed.
12-5-21      Nomination of state candidates not voted on at primary--Presidential electors and national committee members.


12-5-22      Majority required for nomination by convention--Certification to secretary of state.
12-5-23, 12-5-24.      Repealed .
12-5-25      Nomination of candidates by political party with alternative political status--Primary election.
12-5-26      New party nomination of candidates.


     12-5-1.   Organization and dissolution of political party. A new political party may be organized and participate in the primary election by filing with the secretary of state not later than the last Tuesday of March at five p.m. prior to the date of the primary election, a written declaration signed by at least one percent of the voters of the state as shown by the total vote cast for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election, which declaration shall contain:
             (1)      The name of the proposed party; and
             (2)      A brief statement of the principles thereof;
whereupon the party shall, under the party name chosen, have all the rights of a political party whose ticket was on the ballot at the preceding general election. No signature on a declaration is valid if the declaration was signed more than one year prior to filing of the declaration.
     A political party loses the right to participate in the primary election for failure to meet the definition of political party as defined in § 12-1-3.
     The national and state chairperson of a recognized political party may request in writing, subscribed and sworn to by each chairperson before any officer qualified to administer oaths and take acknowledgments, to no longer be recognized as a political party. The political party shall also comply with the requirements for dissolution pursuant to chapter 12-27.

Source: SDC 1939, § 16.0201; SL 1974, ch 118, § 28; SL 1976, ch 105, § 12; SL 1984, ch 107, § 1; SL 1986, ch 115, § 2; SL 1997, ch 75, § 2; SL 2007, ch 74, § 1; SL 2007, ch 81, § 5; SL 2013, ch 63, § 2; SL 2015, ch 77, § 12 rejected Nov. 8, 2016; SL 2018, ch 74, § 7, eff. Mar. 23, 2018.


     12-5-1.1.   Party constitution or bylaws required--Filing with secretary of state. A political party shall adopt a Constitution or a set of bylaws to govern its organization and the conduct of its affairs and exercise thereunder any power not inconsistent with laws of this state. The party central committee shall certify to and file with the secretary of state a copy of the document and amendments thereof within thirty days of their approval.

Source: SL 1974, ch 118, § 27.


     12-5-1.2.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, § 2.


     12-5-1.3.   Notice to county auditors of party rules affecting elections. It shall be the duty of the secretary of state to promptly notify the county auditor of each county of the effect of any provision of a party Constitution or bylaw which affects an election to be conducted.

Source: SL 1974, ch 118, § 27.


     12-5-1.4.   Nominating petitions of new party primary candidates. If a political party qualifies for the primary ballot under § 12-5-1, each candidate intending to participate in a primary election shall file a nominating petition pursuant to § 12-6-4. In each primary election following the qualification of a political party and prior to the next gubernatorial election, each:
             (1)      State and federal candidate for that party shall file a petition bearing signatures of at least two hundred fifty registered voters in that party; and
             (2)      Legislative and county candidate for that party shall file a petition bearing signatures of at least five registered voters in that party.

Source: SL 1984, ch 107, § 1A; SL 1993, ch 109, § 2; SL 2007, ch 74, § 3; SL 2015, ch 77, § 24 rejected Nov. 8, 2016.


     12-5-1.5.   Organization and dissolution of political party without candidate for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Governor, or Legislature. If a new political party organizing does not have a candidate for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Governor, or Legislature, who is nominated at a primary election, the new political party may be organized by filing with the secretary of state not later than July first at five p.m. central time, a written declaration signed by at least one percent of the voters of the state as shown by the total vote cast for Governor at the last preceding gubernatorial election. The declaration shall contain:
             (1)      The name of the proposed party; and
             (2)      A brief statement of the principles of the proposed party.
The new political party shall, under the party name chosen, have all the rights of a political party whose ticket was on the ballot at the preceding general election. No signature on a declaration is valid if the declaration was signed more than one year prior to filing of the declaration.
     A political party loses the right to participate in the primary election for failure to meet the definition of political party as defined in § 12-1-3.
     The national and state chairperson of a recognized political party may request in writing, subscribed and sworn to by each chairperson before any officer qualified to administer oaths and take acknowledgments, to no longer be recognized as a political party. The political party shall also comply with the requirements for dissolution pursuant to chapter 12-27.

Source: SL 2017, ch 69, § 10; SL 2018, ch 74, § 8, eff. Mar. 23, 2018.


     12-5-1.6.   Reward prohibited--Violation as misdemeanor. No person may employ, reward, or compensate any person to circulate a petition for the organization of a political party based on the number of registered voters who signed the petition. Nothing in this section prohibits any person from employing a petition circulator based on one of the following practices:
             (1)      Paying an hourly wage or salary;
             (2)      Establishing either express or implied minimum signature requirements for the petition circulator;
             (3)      Terminating the petition circulator's employment, if the petition circulator fails to meet certain productivity requirements; and
             (4)      Paying discretionary bonuses based on reliability, longevity, and productivity.
     Any violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source: SL 2017, ch 12, § 6.


     12-5-2.   Precinct officials elected at primary. Each political party may elect precinct committeemen and precinct committeewomen at each primary election. If a party chooses to elect precinct committeemen and committeewomen at the primary election pursuant to §§ 12-5-4 to 12-5-13, inclusive, the party shall provide for such election in the party's constitution or bylaws.

Source: SDC 1939, § 16.0209; SL 1941, ch 76; SL 1963, ch 107, § 1; SL 1974, ch 118, § 29; SL 1975, ch 119, § 21; SL 1982, ch 28, § 42; SL 1986, ch 115, § 3; SL 1997, ch 75, § 3; SL 2007, ch 74, § 4.


     12-5-3 to 12-5-3.5.   Repealed by SL 1977, ch 107, § 10.


     12-5-3.6.   Selection of method of allocating national convention vote. A state political party, in its Constitution or bylaws, shall determine the method of allocating delegates and alternates to its next national convention.

Source: SL 1973, ch 73, § 2; SL 1974, ch 120, § 1; SDCL § 12-5-3.3; SL 1977, ch 107, § 1; SL 2007, ch 74, § 5.


     12-5-3.7.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, § 6.


     12-5-3.8.   Certification of candidates or slates for primary--Placement on ballot--Selection process without primary. If a political party chooses to have a primary for selection of its delegates and alternates to the national convention, the party shall certify the candidate names or the delegate and alternate slates which are to be listed on the primary ballot to the secretary of state by the last Tuesday in March preceding the primary by five p.m. central time. Only candidates or slates certified may be placed on the ballot by the secretary of state and the position of the candidates or slates on the primary ballot shall be chosen by lot by the secretary of state. The certification shall be deemed to be submitted if mailed by registered mail by five p.m. central time on the last Tuesday in March. If a political party does not choose to have a primary selection of its delegates and alternates to the national convention, the party shall define the selection process of its delegates and alternates in the party bylaws.

Source: SL 1976, ch 106, §§ 1, 2; SDCL Supp, § 12-5-3.4; SL 1977, ch 107, § 3; SL 1980, ch 111; SL 1986, ch 115, § 4; SL 1997, ch 75, § 4; SL 2007, ch 74, § 7; SL 2007, ch 81, § 6; SL 2015, ch 77, § 9 rejected Nov. 8, 2016; SL 2017, ch 69, § 1.


     12-5-3.9.   Certification of candidates or slates by state chairperson--Mandamus to compel certification--Hearing. The state chairperson of the political party shall certify the candidates or slates to the secretary of state. If the state chairperson wrongfully refuses to certify any candidate or slate, the aggrieved candidate or slate of delegates and alternates is entitled to a writ of mandamus against the state chairperson pursuant to chapter 21-29 to compel certification. A hearing upon the writ shall be held within five days of the commencement of the action.

Source: SL 1976, ch 106, § 3; SDCL Supp, § 12-5-3.5; SL 1977, ch 107, § 4; SL 2007, ch 74, § 8.


     12-5-3.10.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, § 9.


     12-5-3.11.   Primary election of national convention delegates and alternates--Grouping of names on nominating petition--Statement of preference. If a political party has no prescribed method of selection of slates of delegates and alternates to its national convention, the slates of delegates and alternates to the national convention shall be elected by the primary. Names of candidates for delegates and alternates to the national convention, in number equal to the entire number of the delegates and alternates to be selected, shall be grouped in a slate under the respective designations upon a single nominating petition. The nominating petition shall contain a statement indicating the candidates for delegates collective preference choice for President of the United States, if any, or that the candidates have no preference or are uncommitted. No name of any candidate for delegate or alternate may be filed in more than one slate.

Source: SL 1977, ch 107, § 6; SL 2009, ch 69, § 2.


     12-5-3.12.   Preference of first nominating petition filed--One slate per candidate--Petitions rejected for noncompliance--Verified notice of disapproval filed by designated candidate removes slate from ballot. Under a petition filed under § 12-5-3.11, the first nominating petition filed indicating a preference choice for any given person for President of the United States shall give the slate listed thereon the exclusive right to have their names appear on the ballot in preference of that person. Only one slate shall appear on the ballot in preference of any one person for President of the United States. Any nominating petition which does not comply with the requirements of law for such petitions shall not be accepted. Petitions shall be checked for such compliance at the time in the order of filing and the first to be found to be in compliance with law shall be accepted for purpose of this section. No slate of delegates or alternates appearing on a nominating petition filed pursuant to this section shall be placed on the ballot if the person designated as presidential candidate in such petition shall file a verified notice of disapproval. This notice must be filed with the secretary of state by such candidate within the time period required for the filing of nominating petitions for the primary.

Source: SL 1977, ch 107, § 7.


     12-5-3.13.   Election of all delegates by slate receiving most votes. In any election conducted under §§ 12-5-3.11 and 12-5-3.12, the slate that receives the most votes shall elect all of its delegates and alternates on that slate.

Source: SL 1977, ch 107, § 8.


     12-5-3.14.   Notice by candidates or supporters of intention to enter presidential primary. Any candidate, committee, or group supporting a candidate in any presidential primary, shall, by the last Tuesday in March prior to the presidential primary election, notify the secretary of state of an intention to have the name of the candidate placed on the presidential primary election ballot or submit a slate of candidates or both.

Source: SL 1977, ch 107, § 11; SL 1987, ch 120; SL 1997, ch 75, § 5; SL 2007, ch 81, § 7; SL 2015, ch 77, § 10 rejected Nov. 8, 2016.


     12-5-3.15.   State board to adopt rules. The State Board of Elections may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to implement §§ 12-5-3.6 to 12-5-3.14, inclusive.

Source: SL 1977, ch 107, § 9.


     12-5-3.16.   Certification of names of national convention nominees for President and vice-president--Alternate certification. The chairperson of the national convention of each political party recognized pursuant to § 12-1-3 or 12-5-1 shall certify the names of the convention nominees for President and vice-president of each political party to the secretary of state immediately following the convention. If the national certification is not received or is inconclusive, the names shall be certified by the state chairperson of that party at the request of the secretary of state.

Source: SL 2001, ch 67, § 1.


     12-5-3.17.   Repealed by SL 2015, ch 76, § 1.


     12-5-4.   Statement filed by candidates for precinct committee--Time of filing--Contents. A candidate for party precinct committeeman or committeewoman shall file a statement in writing, with the county auditor of the county in which he or she is a candidate, not later than the last Tuesday in March before the primary election. The statement shall state that the candidate:
             (1)      Is a resident of the precinct;
             (2)      Is registered as a member of the political party named in the statement;
             (3)      Is a candidate for precinct committeeman or committeewoman, as the case may be;
             (4)      Is desirous of serving in that position; and
             (5)      If elected, will qualify and serve in the office.
     The statement, when properly filed, shall operate as a nominating petition for that office.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 7; SL 1937, ch 120, § 2; SDC 1939, § 16.0212; SL 1941, ch 77; SL 1951, ch 90; SL 1957, ch 83, § 2; SL 1959, ch 90; SL 1972, ch 79, § 2; SL 1982, ch 126, § 2; SL 1988, ch 130, § 1; SL 2007, ch 81, § 8; SL 2015, ch 77, § 14 rejected Nov. 8, 2016.


     12-5-4.1.   Unopposed candidate for precinct committee automatically elected. Any candidate who has filed a statement of candidacy, as required by § 12-5-4, having no opposing candidate shall automatically be elected, and after the canvass of the primary shall be so declared.

Source: SL 1972, ch 79, § 1.


     12-5-5 to 12-5-7.   Repealed by SL 1972, ch 79, § 6.


     12-5-8.   Furnishing to precincts of ballots for precinct committee--Form prescribed by state board. At the time of printing the official primary election ballots, the county auditor shall also have printed in like number, and for each political party, separate ballots upon which party voters may vote for precinct committeeman and for precinct committeewoman of their political party. These ballots shall be furnished to any election precinct having a contest for such position at the same time with the other election supplies. The form of these ballots shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 10; SL 1931, ch 146; SL 1937, ch 120, § 3; SDC 1939, § 16.0216; SL 1965, ch 84; SL 1972, ch 79, § 3; SL 1976, ch 105, § 13.


     12-5-9.   Votes for precinct committee restricted to nominees. Only candidates nominated pursuant to § 12-5-4 shall be voted upon for such precinct committeeman or committeewoman.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 7; SL 1937, ch 120, § 2; SDC 1939, § 16.0212; SL 1941, ch 77; SL 1951, ch 90; SL 1957, ch 83, § 2; SL 1959, ch 90; SL 1972, ch 79, § 4; SL 1974, ch 118, § 30.


     12-5-10.   Repealed by SL 1972, ch 79, § 6.


     12-5-11, 12-5-12.   Repealed by SL 1974, ch 118, § 200.


     12-5-13.   Precinct committeemen elected by plurality at primary--Term of office. The person receiving the highest number of votes of his or her party, shall be declared elected precinct committeeman and committeewoman respectively, of their party, and shall hold such position for two years, or until his or her successor is elected unless otherwise provided by the party's Constitution or bylaws.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 7; SL 1937, ch 120, § 2; SDC 1939, § 16.0212; SL 1941, ch 77; SL 1951, ch 90; SL 1957, ch 83, § 2; SL 1959, ch 90; SL 1973, ch 72, § 1.


     12-5-14.   County central committee--Composition--Organization--Certification of party officials. The county central committee of a political party is comprised of precinct committeemen and precinct committeewomen of the political party; the state committeemen and committeewomen; the county chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary-treasurer or secretary and treasurer; and the elected public officers who reside in the county and other officers as designated by the party's constitution or bylaws. A county central committee of a political party shall form the party organization by electing a county chairperson and other officers as determined by the party's constitution or bylaws. The name and mailing address of the county chairperson shall be certified to the county auditor and state party chairperson immediately following the election of the county chairperson or change of the county chairperson. The name and mailing address of the county officer responsible for the records and reports required under chapter 12-27 shall be certified to the secretary of state immediately following the election. The name and mailing address of the state party chairperson shall be certified to the secretary of state immediately following the election or appointment of the state party chairperson.

Source: SDC 1939, § 16.0241; SL 1945, ch 76; SL 1949, ch 73; SL 1963, ch 107, § 6; SL 1973, ch 72, § 2; SL 1976, ch 105, § 14; SL 1980, ch 112; SL 2001, ch 67, § 2; SL 2007, ch 74, § 10; SL 2008, ch 67, § 17; SL 2019, ch 73, § 3.


     12-5-15.   Vacancies filled by county central committee--Exception. The county central committee may fill vacancies in its membership, except for public officers, in accordance with the party's constitution or bylaws.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 53; SL 1937, ch 120, § 4; SDC 1939, § 16.0241; SL 1945, ch 76; SL 1949, ch 73; SL 1963, ch 107, § 6; SL 2007, ch 74, § 11.


     12-5-16.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, § 12.


     12-5-17.   Biennial state conventions--Time and place--Notice to secretary of state. Each political party shall hold a state convention in each even-numbered year for the purposes stated in § 12-5-21. The state central committee of each political party shall determine the time and place of the convention. The chair of the committee shall notify the secretary of state at least fifteen business days prior to the date chosen.

Source: SL 1917, ch 234, § 30; RC 1919, § 7108; SL 1929, ch 118, § 55; SL 1933, ch 100; SL 1937, ch 120, § 5; SDC 1939, § 16.0240; SL 1939, ch 77; SL 1941, ch 78; SL 1951, ch 91; SL 1974, ch 118, § 31; SL 2019, ch 70, § 1.


     12-5-18.   Voting by delegates to state convention. At the state convention of a political party, each delegate shall vote the number of votes equal to his proportionate representation as to all delegates present from that county bears to the number of votes cast in his county at the last gubernatorial election for his party candidate for Governor.

Source: SL 1917, ch 234, § 30; RC 1919, § 7108; SL 1929, ch 118, § 55; SL 1933, ch 100; SL 1937, ch 120, § 5; SDC 1939, § 16.0240; SL 1939, ch 77; SL 1941, ch 78; SL 1951, ch 91; SL 1974, ch 118, § 32.


     12-5-19.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, § 13.


     12-5-20.   Repealed by SL 1985, ch 110, § 2.


     12-5-21.   Nomination of state candidates not voted on at primary--Presidential electors and national committee members. The state convention shall nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, commissioner of school and public lands, and public utilities commissioner and in the years when a President of the United States is to be elected, presidential electors and national committeeman and national committeewoman of the party.

Source: SL 1917, ch 234, § 30; RC 1919, § 7108; SL 1929, ch 118, § 55; SL 1933, ch 100; SL 1937, ch 120, § 5; SDC 1939, § 16.0240; SL 1939, ch 77; SL 1941, ch 78; SL 1951, ch 91; SL 1965, ch 86; SL 1974, ch 118, § 35.


     12-5-22.   Majority required for nomination by convention--Certification to secretary of state. Nominations by a state convention shall be made by a majority vote of the votes cast and shall be certified to the secretary of state by the officers of the convention, within three days of the close of the convention. No certification may be received by the secretary of state later than the second Tuesday in August.

Source: SL 1929, ch 118, § 55; SL 1933, ch 100; SL 1937, ch 120, § 5; SDC 1939, § 16.0240; SL 1939, ch 77; SL 1941, ch 78; SL 1951, ch 91; SL 1965, ch 86; SL 2007, ch 74, § 14.


     12-5-23, 12-5-24.   Repealed by SL 2007, ch 74, §§ 15, 16.


     12-5-25.   Nomination of candidates by political party with alternative political status--Primary election. A political party with alternative political status may nominate a candidate for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Governor, and any legislative seat by convention, if the nomination is submitted with the proper documentation to the Office of the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. central time on the second Tuesday in August, of the year of the election.
     A candidate registered with a political party with an alternative political status may choose, if allowed by the party bylaws, to participate in a primary election by submitting a candidate petition no later than the last Tuesday of March in accordance with § 12-5-1.4.

Source: SL 2018, ch 74, § 3, eff. Mar. 23, 2018.


     12-5-26.   New party nomination of candidates. A new political party may nominate a candidate for United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Governor, and any legislative seat by convention, if the nomination is submitted with the proper documentation to the Office of the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. central time on the second Tuesday in August, of the year of the election.

Source: SL 2018, ch 74, § 6, eff. Mar. 23, 2018.


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